You could be one of the people hoping to hang Bernard Madoff - history's greatest thief. Never before has one thief stirred up this much hate. He ran an exclusive investment firm for a select few. His enticement was a steady and un-fluctuating return. One had to invest through large financial institutions in order to invest in his fund, or at least have connections to certain financial personalities, who, in effect, served as Madoff's middlemen. Madoff's scam was in essence nothing more than a simple pyramid scheme. His fund never turned any profit, but when customers asked for their money he would simply transfer money from one account to the other. His business depended on a fund-raising operation, which continued to pump in money in order to cover over the missing profits. When the financial crisis erupted, his panic-stricken clients tried to withdraw their investment, even though they didn't appear to be losing money in Madoff's fund. There wasn't enough money to cover such a sizable withdrawal and, finally, Madoff was caught. He confessed to having embezzled over $50 billion.